Re: Poll results: User views on the FDL issue
On Wed, Apr 20, 2005 at 03:33:03PM -0700, Don Armstrong wrote:
> So, while perhaps you do find PDF based documentation to be pretty
> useless, it can actually be used by people.
I do, actually, but that's not what I was saying. And if you'll notice,
some incarnations of PDF are still considered to be transparent formats. So
they are not equivalent to a binary program for the purposes of this
> > > The GFDL fails to even do this, since you cannot distribute Opaque
> > > version(s) of the work that exclude the invariant section(s).
> > Apples and oranges. You can't compare an opaque version of a
> > document to a compiled binary. It's the same document whether it's
> > in ASCII .txt or MS Word .doc format.
> "It's the same program whether it's in C or in m68k machine code."
That may be true, however, documentation is not code.
For example, I may place a formal copyright notice in a comment in every .c
file in my application. You're not allowed to remove these copyright
notices when you distribute my source code, however, these comments are
removed by the compiler during compilation, and the resulting binary is
There is no analog to this situation with documentation. Every usable format
(and even some useless formats) are just words (or symbols that represent
words, binary or otherwise). The words that make up the invariant sections
are still just words and will persist through any format change.